My 4 R’s of Overcoming Anxiety
Riding out the wave of anxiety can be complete and utter torture. For those coming to this post in the middle of an overwhelming episode, I’m going to get to the point. Here’s what’s helped me in the past and what’s helping me now. I’m hoping that it can do the same for you:
Rely on God
I can’t stress this enough. The answer to anxiety…the answer to illness…the answer to uncertainty…the answer to any question or challenge or trauma you could ever have in your life will always be God.
God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit…
all three in One…
They are the answer.
If you do not have a relationship with Jesus Christ yet, I urge you to do so. If you do not have this foundation yet, even if it is with your very last breath of life, it is never too late to start. Go to Him. Lean on Him. Talk to Him. Rest in Him. Lay in a heap on the floor at His feet, if that is where you’re at today. Do whatever you need to do, but just do it.
Having this relationship with Christ…the truest and purest of friendships…it has been the source of all of my strength, because HE is the source of all of my strength.
If this is something you would like to have too but aren’t so sure how to do this, you can start at the Billy Graham website, or you can get in touch with me through my email or through the comment section below.
God’s Word is the Living Word, and having Scripture on hand for those times when you are slipping into the abyss of anxiety is powerful stuff.
Now, I have certainly (& frantically) fumbled through the Bible in the middle of my moments, but I have found it to be so much more effective to have a few favorite verses set aside for those moments when my panic attacks are at their most intense.
Looking for a Bible verse when fear is at its highest point
only throws even more anxiety into that pot of terror you are currently struggling with.
My advice? Write down some verses during a calmer moment, and keep them in a spot you’ll remember later. Better yet, go ahead and memorize them! There’s no better place to keep Scripture than in your heart.
If you need some help getting started, take a look at this post by Debbie McDaniel. Not only does she give her own personal account of her battle with anxiety, but she has also created a list of 33 verses to reflect upon when you are in the middle of an attack. If I may, I’d like to add one more to her list with Philippians 4:8 . In those moments when my mind is racing, this reminds me what to (and not to) think about. A minuscule detail, at the first, but trust me, it’s powerful.
Sometimes, actually, all I can do is read or say this verse over and over again, with no further ability to form new thoughts on my own…
I have found that this is okay…
…that the very act of doing just and only this can make all the difference.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble,
whatever is right, whatever is pure,
whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—
if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8
Read up on anxiety
Now, before I get too far into this, I have to tell you to be careful with this one. The Internet can be tremendously helpful but, especially during times of anxiety, it can serve as more of a foe than a friend, if not used correctly. When I’m looking for help on the internet, I am very, very specific with my search.
Try Googling “Christian overcoming anxiety”. I have discovered that I am more likely to find positive and encouraging links on the topic than I am when I omit the word “Christian” from my search. Always try to make your Google search as positive as possible because, trust me, you will find whatever you’re looking for. Googling the wrong thing can really set you (and your mind) off on a tailspin!
With that in mind, here are a few resources I’ve uncovered in my searches:
The Season website is a great source on anxiety. The blog has not been updated since 2015, but it’s a perfect starting point for anyone looking to read up on the topic as a whole. This blog also has a powerful prayer for overcoming anxiety. It is incredibly empowering to face your fears, and this prayer will certainly equip you to do so.
When Panic Attacks is one of the first posts that I read when I started my Google search, and it has made a huge difference for me. If anything, it helps to know that someone else knows what I’ve gone through and has come out the other end of it all just fine.
How I Turned My Panic Attacks Over to God is pretty self-explanatory, in terms of summary. It helped me to find my footing and to realize that I didn’t have to go through this thing with the wind knocked out of me.
ibelieve.com, as a whole, is a tremendous Christian resource for those suffering from anxiety. One of their many posts that I would recommend is their 30 day prayer challenge because, truly, there’s just something so empowering about fighting anxiety on your knees with the Lord! While you’re there, you should also check out their post How to Overcome Panic Attacks.
I have saved these articles to come back to when I need them. I find that the more I know about anxiety and the more I understand its cycles and the ride it can take you on, the better equipped I am for the storm and the easier it becomes to deflate it.
God alone is Power, but He certainly can strengthen you with the right sources of knowledge as well!
There are so many ways that God reaches out to each and every one of us, and I have no doubt that the radio is one of them. I could never count the number of times I have had the radio on, and God has spoken to me through a word that the DJ says or a song that’s come on. For me, these tend to be among the most powerful moments because, here I’ve been praying, struggling, fearing, and then a song comes on that speaks directly to the moment and the place I am in. It’s like He is personally there telling me “I am here. I have heard you. You’re safe with me.” That’s God’s grace shining through right there, because I certainly don’t even deserve this comfort…this assurance.
So, yes, keep the Christian radio on. Not sure where to get a Christian station in your town?
If you’re currently feeling too anxious to do that right now, here are two of my favorites. May they soothe your soul like they have mine..
So, there you have it…my 4 R’s…Battling anxiety is, of course, an ever-changing journey, with no two experiences ever being quite the same. Some strategies will work better in some instances than in others, but what I can tell you for sure is that God will work through them all to reach me…and to reach you…
What about you? Do you have your own “4 R’s”?
What has gotten you through your dark, panic-stricken moments?
Leave me a note in the comments below!